Updated: Apr 13, 2020
We get it, you worked hard to submit your applications early. A deferral is disappointing and can bring uncertainty since it is neither acceptance or denial. The silver lining is you are still being considered and have time to add content to your application to improve your admission probability.
What is a deferral? A deferred application is pushed to a school’s larger regular admissions pool of applications, typically receiving an April decision.
What are my next steps? Think of your deferral as giving admissions “another bite of the apple,” and providing you time to re-assess your best fit school. Consider the game plan listed below.
Remaining Applications – Rigorously complete your regular decision applications with time to spare. Spend quality time on presenting your high school body of work, updating your activity list, and put forth an A+ effort on those writing assignments.
Rules of Engagement – Not following policies is a sure-fire way to annoy admissions. Review what additional materials (if any) the college will consider and how to submit this content. Do not resend the content already presented in your initial application.
Tell the school your intent – If the college remains your top choice, write a short letter to admissions letting them know, detailing why you think the college is your best fit. In the letter, update any additional achievements since you submitted your early application.
Additional Materials – You can also send additional letters of recommendation, mid-year grade report, improved SAT/ACT scores, or status of new awards that could strengthen your file. Introspectively consider why the deferral might have occurred and use new content to fill the gap.
Review Your Key College Criteria – Now is also a good time to review must-have college criteria. Do other colleges on your application list also meet those criteria? Do any of those schools offer Early Decision II options to consider?
Your best-fit college will unfold in due time. Easier said than done but recognizing what you need to let go of can bring peace – the need for certainty, perfectionism, or comparison to others? You are good enough, and I wish you peace and joy this Christmas and Holiday season!